Witkin, Joel-Peter (Artist/Photographer) & Borhan, Pierre (Contributor). DISCIPLE & MASTER. New York City, NY: Fotofolio, 2000. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 119 pages. Fine/Fine. Signed.

Collection of "homage" art photographs, presented with their original inspirations. One of the most beautiful and most important art photography books by Joel-Peter Witkin. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a very small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. An austerely elegant production by Joel-Peter Witkin: Oversize-volume format. Pale gray hard boards with black titles embossed on cover and spine, as issued. Photographs and text by Joel-Peter Witkin. Essay by Pierre Borhan. Printed on pristine-white, thick coated stock paper in Italy to the highest standards. In pictorial DJ, which juxtaposes Witkin's "homage" image with Man Ray's original, and titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Presents Joel-Peter Witkin's "Disciple & Master". His homage to artists and photographers that is ultimately about questioning, redefining, and extending the boundaries of what is sublime and beautiful in art. "Unites Witkin's photographs with the images that inspired them" (Publisher's blurb). Witkin's obsession with the macabre and grotesque has a distinguished lineage: He pairs his now-iconic images with their just-as-iconic antecedents. The work of very diverse influences that include Diane Arbus, Brassai, Lewis Carroll, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Fred Holland Day, Mike Disfarmer, Walker Evans, Roger Fenton, Horst, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Nadar, Charles Negre, Man Ray, August Sander, Wilhelm Von Gloeden, and Weegee, among others, have had a profound impact on the one-of-a-kind art of Witkin. His allusions to Classical Painting, Baroque Art, Surrealism, and religious iconography show Witkin to be an erudite artist in a way that few contemporary artists are. Raised as both Jewish and Roman Catholic, Witkin remains a committed believer, of the most unusual kind: He sees God in human beings who do not look like human beings, and who are therefore otherworldly presences in our midst: Pinheads, dwarfs, giants, people born with wings, horns, tails, fins, claws, reversed feet, people with extra arms, legs, eyes, breasts, ears, noses, lips, genitals, and heads. Extreme, cruel aberrations of Nature, for Witkin, they are "beings from other planets, bearing the wounds of Christ". Although Witkin will always be an acquired taste, the vertiginous line between Arbus-ian voyeurism and Blakean mysticism that his work treads makes his work among the best ever taken by an American artist/photographer. It is very faraway, to be sure, from someone like Garry Winogrand, but also tragically grand in the way it is rooted in and captures human pain. An absolute "must-have" title for Joel-Peter Witkin collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed in black pen-marker on the half-title page by Joel-Peter Witkin. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. Witkin's signature virtually fills up the page. This title is a contemporary art photography classic. This is one of very few such signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: ALL other copies available online have serious flaws ("Near Fine" or "Very Good") yet are priced as though they had collectible value. A rare signed copy thus. 54 duotone and color plates. One of the finest living American artist/photographers. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JOEL-PETER WITKIN TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 1584180218. $250.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on May 28, 2017.